Government of Canada announces the construction and operation of a new emergency shelter in Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation

News release

July 16, 2021 — Natoaganeg First Nation, Traditional and unceded Mi'kmaq territory — Indigenous Services Canada 

Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation will be the site of a new shelter for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in times of great need and crisis. This new shelter will be the first of its kind located in rural New Brunswick and will serve 15 Mi'kmaw and Maliseet communities, as well as extending shelter services to other First Nations communities in the Atlantic region.

The Government of Canada is committed to addressing and reducing violence against Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people by ensuring that Indigenous women, their families and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people have a safe place to turn to. The Natoaganeg shelter is part of an initiative by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indigenous Services Canada that will invest $85.6 million over five years and $10.2 million annually thereafter to fund the construction and support the ongoing operation of 12 new emergency shelters in communities across Canada. 

The new Indigenous-led emergency shelter for Natoaganeg will provide culturally appropriate services to help survivors of family violence recover from the trauma of their experiences, access support programming, and create a stable environment where they can feel supported and begin their healing process.

The shelter plans to offer eight units with a total of 12 beds. This will provide added protection to an underserviced rural population by being accessible to a number of First Nations communities in New Brunswick. 

The construction and ongoing support for this shelter are a crucial element of the Government of Canada's response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and an important contribution to the Federal Pathway to Address Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.


"Every Indigenous woman and child in need deserves a safe place to go for shelter, for care and to protect themselves from harm. I am proud to be a part of this important initiative that will provide more dedicated, culturally relevant and trauma-informed safe places for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in times of need."

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

"Natoaganeg First Nation is honoured to have been selected to receive one of 12 new shelters across Canada for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people escaping family violence. These centres will provide critical refuge and culturally appropriate supports to help survivors of family violence. I want to thank our working group led by the Natoaganeg First Nation Health Centre, Mawlugutineg Mental Wellness team, North Shore Micmac District Council Technical Services, Natoaganeg Employment and Training Program, and all others who contributed to the successful submission. The work is just beginning and we look forward to the service being available in late 2022. Wela'lioq!" 

Chief GH Ginnish 
for Natoaganeg Council and Staff

Quick facts

  • Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation has successfully led the establishment of a not-for-profit community-based mental wellness services agency (Mawlugutinge Wellness Services Inc.) in five First Nation communities

  • As Canada's authority on housing, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Association (CMHC) contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC's aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit the CMHC website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux 
Communications Director 
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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